Diocese of Toledo, Ohio

Browsing From the Pastor

Jan. 21/22 Bulletin Article

From the Pastor:                           

The year was 1857. The nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) were in the midst of hearing the case of Dred Scott vs. John Sanford. Although the justices knew this was an important case, they failed to understand its full importance as well as failed to make the right decision. The issue was whether Dred Scott, an African American, was property or person. For us today, this is hard to believe. We wonder how anyone could fail to recognize the personhood of another human being. It seems as obvious as night and day.

Five years after the dreadful decision of SCOTUS to continue slavery, President Abraham Lincoln took matters into his own hands and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which said that as of January 1, 1863 all slaves would from that point forward be forever free. President Lincoln did not do this without passionate, scholarly debate amongst doctors, lawyers, politicians, and businessmen.  The debate wasn’t showmanship, but honest discussion of whether “negros” were property or people.

Looking more closely at the arguments of each side, the pro-slavery group focused on what freeing the slaves would do to cotton production. They argued it would destroy the economy of the south and forever change their way of life. They could no longer afford their stately plantations nor the comforts of life they enjoyed. Additionally, the textile mills in the north would be adversely affected. Notice that the arguments of the pro-slavery group focus on the secondary issue and not the primary issue. The issue was not about the economy and way of life of the free people, but on whether the “negros” were also people.

The pro-slavery group referred to black people as “negros” because they didn’t want to imply that they were people. Why not? The Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. The abolitionists, meaning those who wanted to abolish slavery, remained focused on the heart of the issue: Were “negros” people? They knew no honest, rational person could deny that they were indeed people. The truth of the matter is easy to see for those who do not allow themselves to be blinded by pride and selfishness.

We are baffled today and even appalled, as we should be, by the injustice of slavery and how people refused to see the truth of the matter. We are even more amazed at how SCOTUS got it wrong. How could they not see the humanity of black people and treat them accordingly as persons? Are you willing to courageously follow the evidence to see a similar atrocity of our time? The issue is abortion. It is the quiet, invisible slavery of our time. Read through this again, but replace “negro” with “fetus” and pro-slavery with pro-abortion. If you do so without bias, you’ll discover what we need to pray about and speak about with love and conviction.

In HIS love,
Fr. Miller


Fr. Miller



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